Columbia University announced today that it has received a $175 million gift from Roy and Diana Vagelos to establish the Vagelos Institute for Biomedical Research Education. The new institute will focus on training PhD students and physician-scientists to translate basic biomedical discoveries into new methods of patient care.
According to the university’s announcement, the gift will enable it “to create a new academic model that encourages and accelerates the intellectual risk-taking needed to make historic advances in health science research. Supportive career pathways, promising stability and academic freedom, are being developed to attract more students and junior faculty to this essential endeavor.”
The Vagelos gift will be split in two portions. The largest, $125 million, will fund an endowment to support PhD students, providing them greater freedom to explore different interests at the start of their careers. The remaining $50 million will support aspiring physician-scientists seeking to develop expertise in both fundamental biology and clinical medicine